This bridge is an impressive example of a Strauss heel-trunnion bascule bridge. The patented design was the invention of famous engineer Joseph Baermann Strauss. This example was built in 1930, and is a later example of the type. By this time, Strauss had renamed his Strauss Bascule Bridge Company to Strauss Engineering Company.
Heel trunnion bascule bridges are exceedingly rare in Canada, and thus this bridge has a high level of significance. Among Strauss heel-trunnion bascule bridges, this bridge is not the longest example, but because of its relatively wide roadway width, the bridge has a very massive, imposing appearance. The bridge features two concrete wing style counterweights, as opposed to some examples which have a single, solid concrete counterweight on the end. The wing counterweight design allows for a less obstructed view of the bridge's trusses.
Photo-documentation of this highly significant heritage bridge is hampered by the fact that the bridge is surrounded by properties that are fenced off. So much of Toronto's waterways have beautiful publically accessible parklands lining them, but in this more industrial area, no such amenities exist. Regardless, Toronto should endeavor to provide some sort of publically accessible viewing location along the Ship Channel from which elevation views of this bridge can be had.
When HistoricBridges.org documented this bridge in 2013, it was being rehabilitated. This made a complete photo-documentation of this bridge even more difficult with a bunch of construction equipment parked on the bridge, and the builder plaque covered up. However, it did provide a unique look at rehabilitation of the bridge. It appeared that one of the main goals of the project was to replace the main trunnion of the bridge. Removing the old trunnion essentially meant that the leaf section of the bridge had to be separated from the counterweight system. As a result, to keep the counterweight from crashing down due to the massive weight imbalance this causes, a temporary frame had been erected to support the counterweight.
Main PlaqueSTRAUSS TRUNNION BASCULE BRIDGE
BUILT 1930 FOR
TORONTO HARBOUR COMMISSIONERS
THE STRAUSS ENGINEERING CORPORATION
CHICAGO ILL. U.S.A.
DOMINION BRIDGE CO LIMITED
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